I've been on the hunt for tasty, impromptu meals over the last few months and this Quick Ground Beef Bowl is the latest discovery.
It's easy, cheap, and tremendously satisfying...and I keep thinking about it hours after it's long gone. That's a good sign right?
How To Make A Quick Ground Beef Bowl
As usual, this leftover-type meal was spurned on by a quick first impression of the fridge:
Leftover rice, an avocado on its last legs, some ground beef, and a bag of tortilla chips with a few stragglers inside.
Twenty minutes later I ended up with this:
And it was one of those meals where I'm left wondering....how have I never made this before?!
It's beyond satisfying, and if you load up the ground beef with flavor then you'll have tons of leeway on the final fixings.
Ground beef and chipotles are ideal dance partners, so if you've got chipotles on hand then use those -- but this is a leftover meal so please use what you have available! You could sub fresh jalapenos for the chipotles and still get a great result.
Start by chopping up 1/2 onion and cook it in a glug of oil.
When the onion has softened we'll add a single pound of ground beef, cooking over medium heat until it's browned.
Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook briefly, then add the remaining ingredients:
2 minced chipotles in adobo
some adobo sauce from the can
1 tablespoon chile powder (optional)
2-3 teaspoons Mexican oregano What is Mexican oregano?
1/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
splash of water
Combine well and take a final taste for seasoning. I added another pinch of salt and Mexican oregano to this batch and was happy with it -- it's loaded with flavor and could be eaten straight from the pan 🙂
I usually add some pure chile powder to this mixture, but this is optional. Keep in mind that most generic chile powders are diluted with extra ingredients so it's best to check their labels to see what else you're adding. More info on using pure chile powders.
I also made some Salsa de Aguacate using the struggling avocado that was in the fridge. This is a simple, creamy green sauce that really comes alive when paired with spicy meats.
All you're doing is combining the following ingredients in a blender:
the flesh of a single avocado
juice of 1 lime
1/2 garlic clove
4-5 sprigs cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Super easy to make and a great way to turn an avocado on its last legs into something delicious!
Once that was done I just warmed up the leftover rice and built the bowl. Here's how it looked right before chow time:
I topped it with:
But don't worry about mimicking the final garnishes -- there's tons of leeway on the garnish so feel free to top it with what you have on hand.
Fast, cheap, and significantly better than local take-out options. Tough to beat that right?
Okay, I hope you get some new ideas from this post! I get tons of mileage from this ground beef mixture as seen here: 12 Mexican Ground Beef Recipes.
It's a great mixture to add to your arsenal and will lead to all sorts of quick meals 🙂
Quick Ground Beef Bowl
For the Ground Beef:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/2 small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo
- 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can
- 1 tablespoon chile powder (optional)
- 2-3 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- splash of water
For the Salsa de Aguacate (optional):
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 garlic clove
- juice of 1 lime
- 4-5 sprigs cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2-3 cups cooked rice
- crumbled tortilla chips
- freshly chopped cilantro
- diced pickled onions
- final squeeze of lime
- I had leftover white rice so I just warmed it up before serving, but if you want to cook rice from scratch just add 1 cup rice to a saucepan along with a glug of oil. Cook over medium heat until the rice is turning light brown and opaque, then add 2 cups of stock or water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Combine well, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed.
- To make the Salsa de Aguacate, simply add the following ingredients to a blender or food processor: the flesh of a single avocado, 1/2 peeled garlic clove, 4-5 sprigs cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine well. If it's not combining readily simply add another splash of water.
- For the Ground Beef, start by cooking a finely chopped 1/2 onion in a glug of oil. Once the onion has softened you can add the pound of ground beef, stirring regularly and cooking until it is browned. Once browned you are welcome to drain off any fat if you want. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30-60 seconds, and then add the remaining ingredients: 1-2 diced chipotles in adobo, 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can, 1 tablespoon chile powder (optional), 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 2-3 teaspoons Mexican oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a splash of water. Combine well over medium heat and then take a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch of salt and Mexican oregano to this batch. Note: I usually scrape out the seeds of the chipotles but you can consider this optional.
- Once the ground beef was cooked and the rice was warm I started building the bowls. Keep in mind that the final fixings are optional so feel free to use what you have available! For this batch I started with a bottom layer of white rice and then topped with: the ground beef, crumbled Queso Fresco, freshly chopped cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips, diced pickled onions, plenty of Salsa de Aguacate, and a final squeeze of lime. Serve immediately.
- Store leftovers in the fridge and tomorrow you can make an impromptu meal using the leftovers of this impromptu meal 🙂
Want to see the latest post? It's a batch of this Guilt-Free Chicken Stock: